2019 has been a year filled with so many highlights it is going to be tricky to narrow them down. Alongside the highlights we weathered some storms, quite a few illnesses, and navigated significant changes, including a career change for both Alex and me. Alex switched roles and is now working in management, rather than as a software developer, and I’m finishing out my first year as a full-time mama.
The year started with such mixed emotions. We were busily making final decisions on The Lodge while also on-boarding our new au pair. We quickly realized she wasn’t going to work out and we made the tough, yet easy, decision for me to leave my job and stay home with the kids. The year didn’t go quite as we had expected.
February marked our move-in date to The Lodge! It also marked a 3-week period where the city of Seattle was covered in a thick coating of snow and ice and there was no school. That meant we got “snowed in” at The Lodge for our first big trip there. What an experience that was!
The rest of the winter was much the same – getting settled at The Lodge and going up every weekend. We quickly got into a groove.
Ben fell in love with skiing and by the end of the season was able to ski a bit independently.
Ben also fell in love with the pump track, where he built tremendous confidence on his balance bike, as well as gymnastics. He is naturally very athletic and we noticed a big boost in his self-esteem last winter as a result of these various physical activities.
Alex and I didn’t get to enjoy the benefits of having a season pass at Stevens Pass; however, we did get our fair share of days in on our cross country skis.
Our family photographer, Kim, came out to The Lodge late winter to capture our little piece of paradise. I will always treasure these beautiful photos from our first month there.
Once the snow melted at The Lodge we pulled out our hiking boots and really began exploring our surroundings.
We had a wonderful spring in the mountains with Grammy and Papa. They spent a month out in Washington and the kids loved getting to have so much time with their grandparents. Grandpa Fred and Uncle John came to enjoy the sun and built the kids a swing set to kick off our first spring/summer at The Lodge. Hannah started crawling on Mother’s Day and that opened up a whole host of possibilities for her.
Spring quickly turned into summer. Summer 2019 was one of the best of my adult life so far. We started off the summer by celebrating Ben’s third birthday, doing a round of swimming lessons, spending as much time as possible at the pump track and dipping our toes in the world of summer camp.
Despite the joy and happy memories June was a really tough month. It was the first month Ben was three and ohhh the defiance. Hannah also turned 11 months in June and lordy she turned into a tantruming, demanding toddler then. I was totally thrown off my game, adding to the fact that it was summer and there was zero consistency since school was out. Thankfully we came out the other side eventually.
As the days grew warmer the memories compounded. Alex took off nearly 3 weeks of work and we savored precious family time and celebrated Hannah’s first birthday.
The summer unofficially came to an end for us on our Labor Day weekend trip to Wisconsin to visit Alex’s family. We got to meet our new nephew Marco, too!
This fall Ben started a Montessori preschool and absolutely loves it. Our early fall was primarily spent in the mountains enjoying the spectacular colors and entertaining friends and family. We got hit hard at the start of the school year with stomach bugs, pneumonia and croup and it took us a while to bounce back. Hannah learned to walk, I ran the Leavenworth Octoberfest Half Marathon in October and Ben joined a soccer team. We’ve been using a babysitter more regularly to give me a break during the week and allow Alex and me to enjoy an adults-only dinner out together.
The holiday season arrived abruptly, amidst another round of illness, and our hearts overflowed with joy and pride as we celebrated our first Thanksgiving and Christmas in Leavenworth at The Lodge. Alex made a quick trip back to Illinois to celebrate his mom’s birthday. The holiday season has been filled with skiing, sledding and ice skating and we can’t wait to enjoy the rest of the winter in the mountains.
Well, that’s a wrap! I am so looking forward to seeing what could possibly be in store for the Allen family in 2020. My wish is for it to be a year filled with good health, lots of snow and an abundance of time spent with family and friends in the mountains. Happy new year!